Suspect in I-71 shooting has history of 'mental illness and subs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Suspect in I-71 shooting has history of 'mental illness and substance abuse,' records show

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Christopher McCullum (source: Louisville Metro Corrections) Christopher McCullum (source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- The man police have charged with murder in connection to a fatal shooting on I-71 southbound Wednesday has a history of mental illness and substance abuse and was recently arrested while carrying four loaded handguns, two rifles and a crossbow, according to court records.

Christopher Lee McCullum, 43, was pulled over by police on Oct. 12, 2014, for driving with a shattered windshield and expired tags when an officer noticed a loose 9mm bullet rolling on the driver side floorboard. Louisville Metro Police found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and several weapons, according to an arrest citation.

The two rifles and two of the handguns were wrapped in a pair of overalls on the floorboard of the white van while the other two handguns were found behind the passenger seat. McCullum did not have a concealed carry license.

His attorney in the case, Dale Warren, said most of the guns were eventually returned to McCullum after a plea deal because they were “older, family guns he inherited. He was taking them out to a farm to shoot.” He described one as being a German Luger pistol.

Warren described McCullum as a “good guy, generally mild mannered,” saying he would be surprised if he was involved in Wednesday's shooting.

“I sure hope it's not him,” Warren said. 

At the same time, McCullum has been going through a divorce and, while he owns his own business, A & J Electric, he hadn't been working, at least according to records from last year in his divorce case.

McCullum, who has been representing himself in the divorce, wrote in a motion last March that his electrical license had been suspended and he did not have a current address because he had moved out of “our Lake House so (his wife) and the boys could have it. So they can sell it for the money for support.”

At the time, he listed, in part, his address as a “Ford Van.” 

He is now accused of shooting and killing Mukhtar Ahmad in what police call a "road rage" shooting on southbound I-71, near the Gene Snyder Freeway.

Friends told WDRB the 41-year-old father of three was a hard worker who came to Louisville from Pakistan with his brother in 2000. They own a Dairy Mart in west Louisville. 

A July 2014 order by Family Court Judge Stephen George said McCullum has a “history of mental illness and substance abuse that affects his work.”

"He is unable to sufficiently supervise his employees and often walks off of jobs," the judge wrote. The records say McCullum was paying his employees $21-$22 per hour.

McCullum's electrician license had been suspended for failing to pay his annual dues and complete continuing education requirements. He was working odd-jobs and had not filed his taxes in several years, according to the records.

McCullum's wife had offered to pay the expenses necessary for him to get his license back but McCullum refused, according to George's order. It is unclear from records whether McCullum has gone back to work in the ensuing months.

The couple, who have been married since 1997 and have two teen boys, owned a lot on Patoka Lake in Indiana, personal vehicles, two work vans, a boat, an RV and tools, according to the divorce file.

The couple was ordered to go through mediation on Feb. 15 and McCullum was supposed to be paying child support.

McCullum is due in Jefferson District Court on March 26 to deal with a recent trespassing conviction, where he had gone into a person's yard and tapped into their breaker box to use their power without permission. He pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing and was scheduled to be back in court to ensure he had followed the conditions of his plea.

As for the October arrest, McCullum pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and agreed to forfeit two guns. According to a Dec. 5 order, McCullum was allowed to keep two revolvers, a knife, the rifles and the crossbow.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail which was conditionally discharged for two years, as long as he stayed out of trouble.

McCullum's Facebook page says he went to Jeffersonville High School in Indiana and was in the U.S. Navy.

This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Christopher McCullum has now been charged with murder in connection to the shooting death of Mukhtar Ahmad on I-71 on the morning of Feb. 25, 2015.  

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